Windows 10: Restore disk image to a fresh Windows 10 installation Solved

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  1.    26 Feb 2018 #1

    Restore disk image to a fresh Windows 10 installation


    What I'd like to do is:-


    1. Make a system image backup to an external HDD.
    2. Re-format drive C
    3. Re-install Windows 10 from scratch
    4. Restore all my apps and files (not many files as I keep almost all data on a separate partition.


    Am I expecting the impossible and would the restore try to put the O/S exactly where it was before? The previous installation seems to reside in an unusual partition which I discovered when I tried to rescue windows 10 installation without loosing data and apps. This is the installation screen where I wanted to choose:-
    Click image for larger version. 

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    As one can see, it tells me the current version of Windows is in an unsupported directory - not of my choosing when installed!
    This is my disk partition table for C:-
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'd be extremely grateful for advice on this please?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    26 Feb 2018 #2

    When installing Windows it's very important you disconnected all other drives so it doesn't put files in the wrong place. A new version you can restore data files but you can't restore programs as registered entries will be missing along with DLLs so you will have to reinstall all software which gives you a trouble free installation
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    26 Feb 2018 #3

    oldcelt said: View Post
    Am I expecting the impossible and would the restore try to put the O/S exactly where it was before? The previous installation seems to reside in an unusual partition which I discovered when I tried to rescue windows 10 installation without loosing data and apps. This is the installation screen where I wanted to choose
    I don't really see this installation of Windows 10 as unusual. The system looks pretty much the same as most of the Windows 10 installations do:

    • System reserve (a.k.a "boot" partition)
    • System (C)
    • Recovery Partition (Windows pre-installation environment, or WinPE)

    Once you select the drive to install Windows, it'll set up the same partitions, except if you (or someone else) customized it.

    And that's what Windows complains about, the ~500GBs drive had been split in to two. One half of the drive is for Windows, while other half is for data. Reinstalling Windows deals with the Windows partitions only and cannot guarantee that the data drive will stay intact.

    If you reinstall Windows and just select the drive where to install it, it may format the 500GBs drive as listed above, effectively removing your data partition.

    You could just delete the Windows partitions and install Windows to the empty space, that would keep the data partition intact.

    But I agree with Samuria, you cannot restore the applications from backup to the new Windows installation. It may work in some cases, but most of them will fail.

    On the other hand, if you want to restore Windows from backup, Macrium Reflect and others, the backup program will restore the system exactly as it is now, without touching the data drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    26 Feb 2018 #4

    Slight misunderstanding I think. There is no data on C drive; all apps have been set up to store data on the physically separate HDD so I'm not worried about data recovery. All I want to do is avoid having to re-install all apps. A full image backup should do that but I want to have the Recovery Partition at the end of the disk, not in the middle where it is now. If I re-format C and re-install Windows then recover everything from the image backup will it recreate the Recovery Partition to where it is now? That's what I'm trying to avoid.

    I suppose the simple thing to do is just create another drive in the unallocated partition.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    26 Feb 2018 #5

    oldcelt said: View Post
    Slight misunderstanding I think. There is no data on C drive; all apps have been set up to store data on the physically separate HDD so I'm not worried about data recovery. All I want to do is avoid having to re-install all apps. A full image backup should do that but I want to have the Recovery Partition at the end of the disk, not in the middle where it is now. If I re-format C and re-install Windows then recover everything from the image backup will it recreate the Recovery Partition to where it is now? That's what I'm trying to avoid.

    I suppose the simple thing to do is just create another drive in the unallocated partition.
    I don't see any need for a Windows reinstall, oldcelt. You can do an image restore within Macrium (using rescue environment) and, as part of setting up the restore, just drag and drop the partitions into the destination disk diagram in the order you want. It MAY break your Windows link to the WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) in that 450 MB recovery partition but that can easily be corrected from a command prompt.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    26 Feb 2018 #6

    Word Man said: View Post
    I don't see any need for a Windows reinstall, oldcelt. You can do an image restore within Macrium (using rescue environment) and, as part of setting up the restore, just drag and drop the partitions into the destination disk diagram in the order you want. It MAY break your Windows link to the WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) in that 450 MB recovery partition but that can easily be corrected from a command prompt.
    Now that sounds like the solution I'm looking for. Many thanks - downloading Macrium as I type.

    PS: By the way, what is the command to tell windows where the Recovery partition is please?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 2,349
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       26 Feb 2018 #7

    From disk management, it shows that you upgraded Windows 10 from Windows 7.
    On a fresh install of Windows using MBR, the disk layout is:
    550MB System Reserved and C drive. You don't even have the Recovery partition, The Recovery environment will be combined in System Reserved partition.
    The Recovery partition was created when you did the upgrade because there's not enough room to store in a 100MB Reserved partition.

    Bottom line is if you want to re-install Windows. Delete the first 3 partitions (100MB, C partition, 450MB Recovery partition), leaving F: drive untouched.

    The final result will be:
    550MB System Reserved partition, C drive, F Drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    26 Feb 2018 #8

    topgundcp said: View Post
    From disk management, it shows that you upgraded Windows 10 from Windows 7.
    On a fresh install of Windows using MBR, the disk layout is:
    550MB System Reserved and C drive. You don't even have the Recovery partition, The Recovery environment will be combined in System Reserved partition.
    The Recovery partition was created when you did the upgrade because there's not enough room to store in a 100MB Reserved partition.
    Perfectly correct. So, what would happen if I did a fresh install of Windows 10; would I then be able to recover all my apps from the disk image into the new partition arrangement or would it, in the recovery process, re-partition the disk to where it was?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 2,349
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64
       26 Feb 2018 #9

    oldcelt said: View Post
    Perfectly correct. So, what would happen if I did a fresh install of Windows 10; would I then be able to recover all my apps from the disk image into the new partition arrangement or would it, in the recovery process, re-partition the disk to where it was?
    I edited my previous post above that if you want to re-install Windows. However, to restore the apps from the backup might/might not run.

    If your current Windows is running fine and you just want to re-arrange the disk layout then use:
    Free download Magic Partition Manager Software

    1. Delete the 450MB Recovery partition.
    2. Move Bred_C next to F: partition
    3. Then resize the System Reserved partition to 550MB


    The Recovery environment will be broken but it is very easy to fix.
    Last edited by topgundcp; 26 Feb 2018 at 13:07.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    26 Feb 2018 #10

    oldcelt said: View Post
    ...PS: By the way, what is the command to tell windows where the Recovery partition is please?
    Usually it's just a matter of opening an elevated (admin) command prompt and executing "reagentc /enable" and it will find the partition and re-establish the link. It may or may not require a reboot to take effect, not sure, been too long for me and I think I've seen it go both ways.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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